Much time has passed since my basic chemistry and I am trying to determine if an awaruite mine proposed by FPX Nickel Corp ("FPX") might serve as feed-stock to nickel sulfate for battery production.

Chemically, this is as far as I got and I am not at all certain if the typical counter-current decantation ("CCD") would remove the unwanted iron. Neither do I know anything about how to hydrate $\ce{NiSO4}$ into battery grade hexahydrate form $\ce{NiSO4 * 6 H2O}$.

Here is the proposition (source: this is a commercial site):

Awaruite comes in 2 forms: $\ce{Ni2Fe}$ and $\ce{Ni3Fe}$. Sulfuric acid is $\ce{H2SO4}$. \begin{align} \ce{Ni2Fe + 3 H2SO4 &-> 2 NiSO4 + FeSO4 + 3 H2} \\ \ce{Ni3Fe + 4 H2SO4 &-> 3 NiSO4 + FeSO4 + 4 H2} \end{align} Then precipitate the iron sulfate to get rid of it and add water to hydrate the nickel sulfate: $$\ce{NiSO4 + 6 H2O -> NiSO4(H2O)6}$$

I think this is the form needed for battery production. I think the counter-current decantation (CCD) is the process of precipitating the iron sulfate.

  • $\begingroup$ @andeslisk IMO, your edit went too far in reformatting and rearranging the text in the quote. Quotes should remain true to the original. Quoted text should not be changed to improve grammar, unless you explicitly show where such changes are made, usually by having the changes in []. Certainly portions of the quoted text should not be moved out of the quote into non-quote formatting. It's reasonable to apply better formatting to the reactions and compounds, but any quote should remain as true to the original as possible, at least to the extent of actually duplicating what's being quoted. $\endgroup$ – Makyen Dec 30 '18 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ Here is another option: Ni/Fe + H2SO4 +O2 --> Ni/FeSO4 + H2O $\endgroup$ – Doug Dec 30 '18 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ Please don't worry about this question any longer. I found the answer I was looking for buried deep in the literature, in a study that was not directly focussed upon awaruite but did contain over 20% awaruite in the matte. It came from the Lonmin Marikana mine in South Africa: stockhouse.com/companies/… $\endgroup$ – Doug Dec 31 '18 at 0:37

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